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Full text of "Legitimacy Versus Industrialism 1814-1848"

EARLY TRADE UNIONISM                                177
is true., though not a truth for the present time, as they ought
to see, but they seem to think- that it should not exist, and
that the existence of it is an evil to them. Rascals, I have no
doubt, are at work among them. Black, it is true, is easily im-
posed upon. But the thing needs looking into. Nobody has
such means of probing the ulcer as you, and nobody has so
much the means of cure. The fools, not to see that what they
madly desire would be such a calamity to them as no hands
but their own could bring upon them.
Place answered:
My dear Mill,—As you sometimes take pains to serve the
common people, and as you are an influential man, I send you
an essay in reply to your note. The men who called on BJack
were not a deputation from the working people, but two out of
half-a-dozen who manage, or mismanage, the meetings of
the Rotunda in Blackfriars Road, and at the Philadeiphian
Chapel in Finsbury. The doctrine they are now preaching is that
promulgated by Hodgskin in a tract in 1825, entitled Labour
defended against the Claims of Capital, . . .
and so on through a long letter.1
A year later Mill passed on Place's information to Brougham:
The nonsense to which your Lordship alludes about the rights
of the labourer to the whole produce of the country, wages,
profits, and rent, all included, is the mad nonsense of our friend
Hodgkin [sic] which he has published as a system, and propa-
gates with the zeal of perfect fanaticism. Whatever of it appears
in the Chronicle steals in through his means, he being a sort of
sub-editor, and Black (the editor) not very sharp in detecting;
but all Black's opinions on the subject of Property are sound.
These opinions, if they were to spread, would be the subversion
of civilized society; worse than the overwhelming deluge of
Huns and Tartars.2
The result of Socialist teaching was a revolt against middle-
class Radicalism, and the rapid growth of a purely working-
1 Wallas, Place, p. 274.
2 Mill to Brougham, in Bain's James MUl, p. 364.